Ricoh GXR Mount Sony Nex 5N comparison

Started Oct 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
sroute Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Re: Ricoh GXR Mount Sony Nex 5N comparison

Eric Glam wrote:

I think it depends a lot how you develop your RAW photos.
For example, here's my grading of the OP RAW photo using ACR 6.6:

I don't have to think or guess as to what the differences are - I owned both cameras; now only own the GXR. I compared images from my NEX-5N and GXR using the same suite of lenses, same subjects, same post processing (essentially none).

Both camera's sensor implementation are quite different and the differences in how they handle specific types of lenses can not be explained away as simply requiring different post processing.

Zeiss themselves acknowledge that their wide angle Zeiss ZM Biogon lenses, and indeed any symmetrically designed lens with a relatively small exit pupil close to the sensor, will produce images that suffer to some extent from what is essentially astigmatism at the edge and corners of the field. A sensor array that doesn't have, or has a very thin, anti alias filter will suffer correspondingly less image degradation at all apertures.

The NEX-5N has an anti-alias filter; the GXR M Mount does not. The difference between the two is quite striking.

Images from my M lenses hold more detail, required less or no sharpening, and hold up well in the corners and edges regardless of lens or focal length. Less tangible, the rendering of the lens simply looks better on the GXR's sensor.

I could only approximate the same result using the NEX files by over-sharpening the NEX images but no amount of sharpening will recover detail that is lost and so the NEX images after tweaking and sharping could merely approach, but not equal, the same level of detail that GXR M Mount images have with no post processing sharpening applied whatsoever.

That isn't to say the NEX is a bad camera for alternative glass, far from it. I'd say the NEX held its own for subjects closer in, probably because the exit pupil of the lens moves farther away from the sensor as the lens is focused on nearer subjects. Definitely the NEX has a noise edge for high ISO sensitivity. Yet overall in terms of treating my Zeiss lenses well -- particular my wide angle Biogons -- the GXR crosses the finish line with lots of time to spare.

If I wanted to use rangefinder wide angle lenses with the NEX, I'd want to look for retrofocus designs. Leica makes some but not all their old and current lens line up are retrofocus across all focal lengths. Personally I'm a fan of Zeiss - I like the look - and I'm a bigger fan of the prices and the glass I already own - so remaining NEX and buying Leica glass, or using SLR retrofocus lenses, wasn't an option for me.

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